Monday, May 24, 2010

To "Bink" or not to "Bink"

My daughter took to the binky like white on rice, chocolate on peanut butter and Harry and Sally... oh you get the drift.

She used it every day, all day and then around the age of 2, we changed to just nap time and bed time. Now at the tender age of 3, I decided she was ready to hand it in for her big girl badge. A couple of days ago during a "trying" day with Sophia, I threatened if she didn't listen to me I was going to cut her binky up, knowing that this would be the only thing to really affect her.

Her response,"Go ahead and do it already!"

And that was my cue, or so I thought. I went to find those scissors on a mission, grabbed that binky and cut the nipple off right in front of her while she sat witness at the dinner table. My son was excited to see it go, but my 3 year old didn't really understand it yet. I think she kept thinking there must be an endless supply of binkies and another pink binky that she so graciously loved would some how show up tomorrow. The first couple days were so smooth, I was convinced that I did the right thing, and then reality set in, by bed time on day 3 she was not having it any more. After all, I had painfully ripped her security blanket out from under her without fair warning. Nights became horrifying for both her and us, as her only way to put herself to sleep was in an exhausted heap from crying and screaming, as I stuck to my guns about not letting her have the binky.

This made me question if getting rid of the binky should be my decision or her own.

The binky never kept her from doing new things, she walked and talked early and her socialization skills are often better than my own. The pacifier never leaves the house. She doesn't take it in public, never took it to school, and doesn't take it out of her bedroom. She mainly uses it to fall asleep at bed time, and in the middle of the night, the binky is not in her mouth.

So is the pacifier really that bad?

In an article by Marguerite Lamb, entitled Bye Bye Binky: Ending the Pacifier Habit on,Dr. Richard Dowell,a pediatric neuropsychologist at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, insists that "Ultimately, children develop higher level strategies to manage their distress -- usually beginning at around age 2," he says. "They phase out their pacifiers as they develop skills to replace them.Most kids willingly surrender their binkies by age 3 or 4." I can only hope. The article goes on advising that it is best to take a gradual approach when weaning your child off the pacifier. I guess my abruptness, although it made me feel good, was not the way to go. It not only caused her a lot of stress at night times, but we believe it made her regress with potty training too. This week, she has had accidents that were happening every other week or so, almost daily.

Maybe I need to trust the process of learning, developing and growing. After all, the past the year has been a lot for Sophia, she didn't flinch when I dropped her off at preschool, went from diapers to underwear after seeing the cute princess ones we could buy and accepted the birth of her little brother and her promotion to a big sister willingly with glowing pride. But maybe the binky is her way of holding onto being the baby in the family. Her way of dealing with the numerous changes that have taken place in her life over the past year, her way of dealing with stress.

So tonight on my bi weekly shopping trip to Wegmans, part guilt in my approach and part the over whelming feeling that Sophia was just not ready to separate with the binky, I found myself in the baby aisle staring down the binkies wondering if I'd made the right choice. So quickly I grabbed a pack and threw it in the cart promising myself and Sophia this would be the last. I will trust the process, not use the binky as ammunition and plan out the approach my husband and I were to take in helping her wean off the pacifier.

And if you know me, you know I'm not past a good bribe if things get desperate.


  1. It's like josie drinking milk from the bottle. She only really does it at home once or twice a day when she's really tired. I figure she won't be twenty drinking from a nipple. At school and home she doesn't even use a sippy cup. I figure it's her way of coping with stress. As adults we have weird ways of coping with stress too that we promise ourselves we won't do next time. Sophia will be okay. If she's using a binky at 16 then I guess you should be concerned.

  2. Maybe that's what I need!? Yeah...a binky. I just might try it. At least it would keep the cookie crumbs out of my bed.


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